Art and Design High School
Manhattan NY 10019
Strong commercial arts program; well-equipped, modern building
Limited foreign language instruction
Art and Design is a vibrant school that offers hands-on training in commercial arts including animation, architecture, cartooning, fashion, film, graphic design, illustration and photography. Students participate in internships in the industry and earn professional certifications in a range of skills. The school, which attracts students from across the city, offers extra support for struggling learners and advanced and college level courses for high achievers.
Founded in 1936, Art and Design counts many prominent figures among its alumni including Tony Bennett, Harvey Fierstein, Calvin Klein and Art Spielgelman. Many of its teachers are working artists and the schools industry partners and network of loyal alumni provide a steady stream of internships and employment opportunities for students and graduates.
Manuel Urea, former school leader of Repertory Company High School, became principal in January, 2016 and quickly made some big changes. He switched the school from a triple to single session, so all students start and end their school day at the same time. He created a student council, and at students request, agreed to let seniors who are in good academic standing leave the building for lunch. Parents and students we spoke with say the changes have had a positive impact on the schools culture. Teachers now have more time for professional development, collaboration and parent outreach; students feel they have a say in school decisions and all are available at the same time to participate in after-school activities.
Walk into any of the art classes and youll see talented and engaged students in action. We observed fashion students designing their ready-to-wear lines inspired by different periods in history. Illustration students refined digital collages inspired by the Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. In a film class, students offered a scene-by-scene critique of a classmates work.
Writing, oral presentations and technology are constants in all arts classes. Students craft artist statements and share their work and research with peers. The schools eight computer labs are full each period with students crafting and editing work as well as converting their creations into digital forman essential skill artists need to market their work, said Urea.
In academic classes theres a mix of teaching styles. Group work dominates in some, while teacher-directed lessons are the norm elsewhere. Regardless of the class structure, we saw a lot of teachers build in time for student discussion and reflection.
English and history classes are scheduled back-to-back so teachers can coordinate lessons between the two subjects. For instance, while 11th-graders are reading The Crucible, in EnglishArthur Millers play about the Salem witch trials thats an allegory about McCarthyismtheyre learning about McCarthyism in their United States history class.
Qualifying students may take courses at Hunter College as well as Advanced Placement courses in English, biology, chemistry, calculus, World and United States history. Spanish is taught in a class setting for one year and after that students may take an online course.
Art and Design is housed on six floors of a contemporary building in midtown Manhattan that it shares with PS 59. Theres a myriad of well-equipped art studios and academic classrooms, an expansive gymnasium, a fitness room equipped with cardio and weight-training equipment, and a bright and airy cafeteria adorned with a stain glass mural designed by Art Spiegelman.
All students have a prep class built into their schedule, which in the lower grades focuses on Regents exams and in the upper grades focuses on SAT and Advanced Placement exams. College and SAT prep classes are also offered on Saturdays.
After graduation, some students get jobs, but many choose to attend art schools such as Cooper Union, Parsons, Pratt, Rhode Island School of Design and liberal arts colleges including, CUNY, SUNY and private institutions.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT classes and SETSS.
ADMISSIONS: Open to students citywide. Students audition and submit an art portfolio for one of three programs: Architectural Design, Commercial Art (includes photography, animation, fashion and graphic design) and Film/Video productions. Admissions decisions also take into account students grades, test scores and record of lateness and attendance. (Laura Zingmond, October 2016)
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Programs and Admissions
Program includes study of structures, space, color, form, with a focus on hand drafting, architectural design, model making and sketching, and AutoCAD. Seniors complete city planning design project to address current zoning issues, visit museums and professional studios and hear from visiting professionals. Student projects are critiqued and reviewed by industry partners in order to provide students with specific, relevant industry feedback.
9th grade: Design Foundations; 10th grade: select CTE major from Cartooning, Animation, Fashion/Costume Design, Illustration, Graphic Design, Digital Photography; gain introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Technical assessment required for CTE certification. Upper grade students can apply for AP courses in Illustration and Graphic Design. All portfolios are evaluated by professionals. Opportunities for museum visits, rotating student exhibitions, visiting artists.
Studio-based curriculum includes pre-production, production and post-production skills. Through hands-on filmmaking, students learn film theory, film analysis, scriptwriting and editing in Final Cut-Pro and gain industry-based technical and theoretical knowledge. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment, participate in contests and film festivals and meet visiting artists and professionals.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP English, AP Spanish, AP US History, AP World History
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Handball, Soccer, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball